The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index increased to 84 in December.
“While demand remains strong, finding workers, predicting pricing and dealing with material delays remains a challenge,” said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke. “Policymakers need to work on supply chain improvements and controlling costly inflation. Addressing lumber tariffs would be a good place to start.”
“The most pressing issue for the housing sector remains lack of inventory,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Building has increased but the industry faces constraints, namely cost/availability of materials, labor and lots. And while 2021 single-family starts are expected to end the year 24% higher than the pre-Covid 2019 level, we expect higher interest rates in 2022 will put a damper on housing affordability.”
The HMI component measuring buyer traffic increased one point to 70. The component measuring current sales conditions rose one point to 90, and the component measuring sales expectations in the next sixth months held steady at 84.
Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast rose four points to 74, the Midwest posted a two-point gain to 74 and the South and West each posted a three-point rise to 87, respectively.
Read the NAHB release.